I used to have a strong inner voice that I nicknamed The Judge. The Judge mostly had negative opinions about me, but of course she turned her unwelcomed attention to others too. I am happy to say that after years (possibly an entire decade) of reversing those thoughts, the judge has been reduced to a tiny peep that makes noise every once in a while.
Harboring such negativity had troubling effects on my life to a point where I had no choice but to deal with this inner voice that kept me down. I tackled the problem by paying attention to the unreasonable thoughts, and shooting down un-truths and habits right off the bat. If there was truth to any of the thoughts, I reframed it in a more constructive way that I could take into account or learn from without the harshness of making myself feel unnecessarily lousy.
So basically, I learned to be nice to myself and other people. I urge you to do the same if you find that you're beating yourself up. Here's what judgment is doing to you:
You're holding yourself back. Advancing in life, taking chances and making change requires support. At times it can be difficult to get sufficient support from others, so if you're not even on your side, then it becomes nearly impossible to move forward in career, relationships and life overall.
You're carrying emotional baggage. Baggage is heavy - leave it behind. Much like the first reason, unresolved feelings can get you stuck and unable to move forward. It's never too late to acknowledge unsettled problems no matter how long the issue has been bothering you. You owe it to yourself to clear out the nasty feelings that weigh you down.
You're harming your relationships. To put it simply, it's hard to feel safe and comfortable when judgments are present. People will find it difficult to open up if you're known to be judgmental. If you're speaking negatively about people directly to them or behind their backs, you're at greater risk of damaging relationships. The best way to resolve this is to determine your motivation for voicing your opinions. Does it come from a place of good or 'not nice'? Always come from a place of good!
Your insecurities are showing. When you criticize others, you're really saying more about yourself. Insecurities show up in many different ways. Cattiness, anger, gossip and superficiality are some examples of what's behind judgmental outlooks. The most confident people show understanding, support and positive actions to everyone that crosses their path. Show your confidence!
Those are just some of the many reasons we hide behind judgment. And, we all do it- we all judge. However, the work you put into minimizing that voice will pay off in happiness and a more positive outlook that can further benefit you with more success, better relationships and more. It takes commitment, awareness and work to build up a new habit of being nice to yourself and others. Remember these three things: be aware of the criticisms you think or say, find out the root of where that comes from, and resolve it by dismissing false/mean judgments or reframing true observations into more helpful thoughts or mantras.